Move Over, Hyaluronic Acid—Polyglutamic Acid Retains 5 Times More Moisture

If you ever suffer from dry skin, chances are, you've reached for hyaluronic acid, and for good reason. This hydrating ingredient revives dry, tight, or flaky skin. As someone with extremely dry skin no matter what I throw at it, I often wish there was something even more hydrating than hyaluronic acid.

Enter polyglutamic acid. Consider polyglutamic acid hyaluronic acid's overachieving older sister. The two ingredients are cut from the same cloth and have many of the same benefits for skin, but with a few key differences. Keep reading to find out more about polyglutamic acid.  


What are the benefits of polyglutamic acid?

Just like hyaluronic acid, Polyglutamic acid is a humectant. According to Elyse Love, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, that means the ingredient draws moisture into the skin when it is paired with a moisturizer. "This leads to increased skin hydration and improvement in the appearance of dullness and fine wrinkles," she explains. "It is a great ingredient for anyone who wants extra hydration to the skin, especially those who struggle with dull and/or dehydrated skin. It plays well with almost all other skin ingredients and works well for all skin types."

Hyaluronic Acid vs Polyglutamic Acid

The biggest difference between hyaluronic acid and polyglutamic acid is polyglutamic acid's ability to retain water. "It's been shown to retain moisture up to 5000 times its weight, which is more potent than hyaluronic acid," says David Kim, MD, MS, and board-certified dermatologist. "Hyaluronic acid can retain moisture up to 1000 times its weight."

Our favorite polyglutamic acid products:

"Obagi Clinical Dark Spot Disruptor Discoloration Correcting Serum combines the hydrating effects of polyglutamic acid with the soothing and brightening effects of bakuchiol for a gentle, lightweight formula to improve the appearance of dark spots, dullness, and fine wrinkles," says Love. 

"It's a very light and gentle essence with polyglutamic acid and ferment filtrates that is good for all skin types, especially during the summer," says Kim. 

There's nothing better than a good makeup-skincare hybrid. Versed's Mood Lighting has all the skincare benefits of a serum with all the illuminating benefits of a highlighter. Polyglutamic acid is the star of the show, working to visibly plump skin. 

This supercharged serum is basically a one-stop shop for good skin in a bottle. Polyglutamic acid and vitamin C are blended together for a serum that plumps while brightening. 

For just $15, this gel-like serum packs a major moisturizing punch. It helps lock in moisture while also priming skin for makeup application. 

If you're after bright skin, try mixing in this vitamin C–rich moisturizer. A blend of peptides, polyglutamic acid, squalane, and a double-encapsulated blend of lipids help moisturize and strenghten skin. 

If you wants the benefits of retinol but have super sensitive skin, try reaching for this bakuchiol serum. Bakuchiol helps even texture and tone while polyglutamic acid plumps. 

Consider this hydrating serum a triple threat. Mega moisturizers hyaluronic acid, algae extract, and polyglutamic acid are basically like a Gatorade for dehydrated skin.

Using an essence is already a great way to add a blast of hydration to skin. This one has vitamin C and polyglutamic acid to brighten and moisturize. 

If you're after some serious hydration, this deeply moisturizing cream delivers. Polyglutamic acid and ceramides work in tandem with each other to hydrate and nourish the skin. Use it liberally anywhere you need a boost of moisture.

Puffy eyes and dark circles are no match for this brightening eye cream. The brand's essential moisture complex has a blend of polysaccharides, hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid for plump, hydrated under eyes. 

Mutha's multitasking serum has vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid, and camellia oil for supremely hydrated and radiant skin. 

With 12 different weights of hyaluronic acid, this cream is about as hydrating as you can imagine. Polyglutamic acid also helps hydrate, while growth factors work to nourish and restore skin. 

Other hydrating products we love: